With this installment of Rosen House Connections, it’s time to highlight one of the artists in the collection who is enjoying a moment in the spotlight, Ethel Wallace. Wallace was a painter and textile artist whose Greenwich Village Studio was a meeting place for the avante guarde of 1920s New York. Lucie Rosen befriended Wallace and had a keen curiosity about Wallace’s work, especially her narrative scenes executed in batik, a resist-dye technique.
Last spring, when Jessa Krick, Caramoor’s Director of Interpretation, Collection, and Archives identified one of Wallace’s works in the Rosen House collection, the curatorial team at the Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA, was finalizing plans for an exhibition about Wallace. The piece from Caramoor called Women at the Well, was newly photographed in 2023 and now appears in the catalog for the exhibition, which will be on view at the Michener through early March.
The exhibition includes several other examples of Wallace’s batik work, two of the garments she designed, and many paintings and archival materials that introduce this woman artist to a new audience. The show also includes an image of soprano Eva Gauthier, the mutual friend who appears to have introduced Lucie Rosen to Wallace.
Thanks to new and ongoing research Ethel Wallace: Modern Rebel provides a new context for the world of Lucie Rosen in New York in the 1920s.